Seventh District History
In 1922, Grand Basileus J. Alston Atkins divided our fraternity into five districts. At that time they were The New England States, The Middle Atlantic States, The Central States, The Southern States, and The Western States. In 1935, a redistricting occurred and the seventh district was created. M.R. Austell was appointed the first seventh district representative in 1935. On April 24, 1936 the first seventh district meeting occurred on the campus of Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, GA. There were twelve delegates present at that first meeting; ten were from the state of Georgia and two from the state of Alabama. The seventh district at that time was composed of three states: Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. The state of Mississippi was added to the seventh district in 1941.
The longest serving district representative in the seventh district and even in the fraternity is J.T. Brooks who served approximately twenty-seven years. Bro. Brooks appointed W.A. McMillan to the position of state supervisor of chapters in 1958 in the state of Florida. However, it appears that Bro. McMillan served as the supervisor of chapters throughout the district. In 1963, Bro. Brooks renamed this position to state representative and appointed the first state representatives. He continued using W.A. McMillan for the state of Florida and appointed Samuel Sheffey for the state of Alabama, Robert Church for the state of Georgia, and Charles Jones for the state of Mississippi.
The first chapters in the seventh district were: Phi Chapter at Talladega College in 1921 in the state of Alabama, Chi Omega Chapter at Tallahassee in 1924 in the state of Florida, Eta Chapter composed of students at Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Clarke University in 1919 in the state of Georgia, and Beta Alpha in 1933 at Alcorn in the state of Mississippi. The state of Florida was the first state to create a state organization of Omega Psi Phi in 1974. Alabama did the same in 1977, Georgia in 1980 and Mississippi was the last to do so in 1992.
Although the seventh district has been the largest district in our fraternity, it took forty years before a brother from the seventh district was elected Grand Basileus. In 1976, Bro. Edward Braynon was elected Grand Basileus. Since that time three other brothers from the seventh district have served our fraternity as Grand Basileus and they are: Bro. Moses C. Norman, Bro. Dorsey C. Miller, and Bro. George Grace.
The seventh district through the years has been one of the great standard bearers in the fraternity. We do it so well that our international headquarters will often implement changes in how they do things after witnessing our example here in the seventh district. The ideas of the Lampados Club, the Leadership Conference, an inspector general, data based mechanization for membership, a modernized registration process with photos on identification badges, state organizations, and utilization of CD in lieu of paper reports originated in the seventh district.